Yelm runs over, through, past Bellevue in semifinal thriller to advance to 3A championship
Facing 4th and goal from the Bellevue 1-yard line, everyone on both sidelines, the crowd — heck, everyone around the state following the game — thought the ball was going to Brayden Platt.
After all, Yelm’s four-star recruit had gashed Bellevue’s defense all game long, racking up 159 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, carrying Bellevue defenders on his back for extra yards. He was relentless, physically dominant, the best player on the field in a game with no shortage of talent in Yelm’s Class 3A state tournament semifinal game at Art Crate Field on Saturday.
It’s what made the play call — a quarterback sneak — risky, unexpected and ultimately, brilliant. Damian Aalona bowled into the end zone behind an offensive line that had imposed its will throughout the contest, putting Yelm in the lead late in the fourth quarter. Yelm hung on for the 28-27 win to advance to next weekend’s 3A state championship game.
Prior to the 2022 season, Yelm had never advanced past the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs. Yelm will play for the school’s first state championship, facing Eastside Catholic in the 3A state championship game next weekend at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. Eastside Catholic defeated O’Dea in the other semifinal matchup.
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Click here for the KING-5 TV video highlights of Yelm’s 28-27 win over Bellevue in the 3A State Semifinals.